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Hi all,

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Vegas. I was out there with my parents to celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary. Since they grew up with, and lived, the original tiki culture (and my dad was stationed in the South Pacific in the late 50s)I thought it would be a treat to take them to the new Tiki Bar, Taboo Cove, at the Venetian Hotel, as well as the neighboring Venus Lounge (think leopard carpet and Rat Pack). Taboo Cove is billed as Vegas' first authentic Tiki Bar in 40 years; needless to say, I was really looking forward to this. After seeing Don Rickles (amazing!!) at the Stardust Hotel my parents and I headed over to "paradise" to immurse ourselves in Martin Denny and Les Baxter and to drink zombies out of devlish tiki mugs. As we drew closer to the establishments I nearly forgot how to walk as I was so overwhelmed with anticipation. Upon entering Taboo Cove one is surrounded by a beautifully realized Tiki Bar, aesthetically speaking that is. Puffer fish, lanterns, old album covers, fishing nets, etc.. BUT, one is also treated to the rapping of Missy Elliot and similar music. My parents first reaction was, "What the hell is this music!!" I expressed my surprise, too. I informed them that we were listening to a type of music popular in urban areas. They asked where Don Ho, Mr.Denny or Mr.Baxter were. I didn't know. I proceeded over to the bar to order some drinks with the intent of asking about the lack of music of the Exotica genre. Well, the bartenders are kids (19-25) who had no clue...or class..at least the one who grunted at me was of no help at all. However, one of the bartenders was nice and sympathetic. He explained that they play top 40 in this bar, but that the Venus Lounge plays different music; we'll get to that later. When I asked why they didn't play authentic tiki-type music, I believe the response had to do something with ignorance about this type of music, as well as the need to attract a certain type of (young) crowd; okay, I'm 37 and may not appreciate Ms. Elliot and her contemporaries, but why create this "authentic" paradise only to fill it with noise??? Okay, that was not fair, but what I heard was not congruent with the setting. At any rate, I order drinks and ask to see what collectible tiki mugs they had. I was salivating for I was coveting Bosko's collection behind the bar. Alas, THOSE are only for show and do not reflect the selection available to the public. Offered were the obigatory hula girl, a Fu Manchu, a very small Moai good for shots, and what looked like a Sleeztak from Krofft's "Land of the Lost" (70s kid show). So, up to this point we have poor music and a rotten mug selection. I tried to remain optimistic, for the Venus Lounge would open at 11:00, and boy oh boy did it look swell. Very swank, cool and authentic looking. My parents having lost faith decided to leave. I walked them back to their hotel feeling sad that this was not the time I had planned for them. I head back over to the Venus Lounge, and as I'm walking up the side of the establishment I hear this heavy, thumping techno type music coming from inside. You know that sickening feeling in your stomach and guts where you feel like your getting diarrhea and there isn't a bathroom for 100 miles?? That's what I felt upon hearing this. I compose myself and walk to the entrance where I am greeted by Pauly, the congenial manager of the lounge. As I say hello to him, I look inside only to have my worst fears confirmed. This was no lounge, it was just another club pumping out the same corporate crap that one could hear anywhere. A large lump formed in my throat as I watched all of the MTV kids dancing in their metallic tops totally oblivious to the sacrilage that was taking place. Where were all of the mom and pops who used to cut a rug while listening to Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Bobby Darin and similar?? Hell, I would have settled for a chunky, middle aged woman in a polyester pantsuit, with heavy eye make-up who reaked of AquaNet; but alas, no. A little melodramatic here? You betcha. But why not???? Vegas (this country) has toooooo many of these places, why not follow through and make the ambience complete??? I'll tell you why: money!! Pauly confirmed this after I was done blabbing and blubbering about my disappointment, which in the grand scheme of life and the universe really isn't important; I do realize this. Apparently, Taboo Cove and the Venus Lounge originally played authentic music to fit these establishments (which are rather new to the Venetian). However, since business was not up to par with this format, the big boys came in and made some changes to boost business. And these are the changes that my parents and I saw. I did call the Venetian the next day to express my feelings and I got the obligatory "I'm sorry, we'll pass on your comments" answer. I told them that I spent $40 on drinks at Taboo Cove; they didn't even budge and say, hey, we'll give you a coupon for some free Clark Bars at our gift shop!!! So much for customer service. Aside from my comments to Pauly, I also left a message with the Venus Lounge/Taboo Cove answering service. No return call from them. Okay, I was a pain in the ass. But, people, when in Vegas, I would highly recommend that you do not visit these places, for you be extremely disappointed if what you seek is a throw back to a simpler, more original and exotic place and time. I think I feel better now that I got this off my chest. Hope to see you all in Atlanta in a few weeks. Which reminds me, I better book a room!!!!

Sorry about your disappointment, Tommy. But let's be realistic here. Do you, or anybody on this board think that a 1950's tiki lounge, or rat-pack sleaze lounge, that was truly authentic in every detail could bring in enough business to stay open? Sure, it would be great as a museum of tiki, or a place to film the occasional movie scene, or a super clubhouse for the Tiki Central tribe. But, it wouldn't stay open more than a month. I would love it if Taboo Cove were able to stay true to the genre, but I would rather see it open with crappy music than closed and the mugs and decor put back into storage somewhere.
Take what good you can find in a place. As far as Taboo Cove, don't go expecting so much and you'll actually enjoy what there is to see. The bamboo, tikis, awesome mug collection, pictures, memorabilia, Bosco carvings and Shag artwork next door make it well worth the trip. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let's see, can I come up with any more cliches?
I think we tend to become so emmersed (sp?) in tiki culture that we expect every detail to be authentic, when it never will be. The only place you'll ever find a truly authentic 1950's tiki bar is in the 1950's. And even back then I'm sure some joker was playing the wrong kind of music on the jukebox.


Mark Cotton

I buy old poker chips from casinos and private gambling clubs anywhere.  

:drink:
Thank God the Tiki Bar is Open!

[ Edited by: jukeboy56 on 2002-07-05 12:47 ]

M

You can't blame them for changing it to make money and besides most people that come to Las Vegas aren't looking for Tiki Bars :P

T

I appreciate the two responses above, and I thank you for taking the time to jot your thoughts down. Responding to Mattio: Yes, I realize people are out to make money...this is the unfortunate necessity of our world-the need to make money. This is why we have TV commericals, and TV commercials are why my mute button and I are very close. At any rate, time goes on and things change; for the better? Yeah, sometimes. My little rant on this forum was to simply point out that if you're striving to capture some of the past, don't just let money rule you, let your soul get in on the game, too. And it's that simple, these places lacked the soul that they try/tried to emmulate. I don't live in the past and don't expect things to be like they were 50 years ago..not at all. Just saying they missed the boat. And Mattio you're right, most people probably don't come to Vegas looking for a Tiki Bar. But wouldn't it be refreshing to find a place there that would give you a glimpse into the past, a time when there was a lot more soul?? A time when people talked about more than sports and microbrews. I think the younger generation would appreciate it, hence the current lounge/swing revival. And again, this is all trivial in the grand scheme of things. For those of you who are kindred spirits and know where I'm coming from, feel free to post many responses. If you've missed the boat here, let me know, for your next beer at Hooters is on me. Hmmm, Brittney or Christina??? Oh the choices!! Remember folks, this is all in fun.

M

The Vegas Tiki situation has been rehashed many times here and back at Yahoo!..with special emphasis on Taboo Cove.

Bottom line, new owners, new business approach. The location is horrendous, and they don't get much support from the Venetian. I will be going back to Vegas in a month, and will go to Taboo, as well as a few others.

It's all there is, Bosko's work is a must-see and what ya gonna do? Nonetheless, the music and television turn a fantastic room into a "so-so" destination. Look at the bright side and think, cool Bosko. Or look at the down side and think, boy could this be better.

A Tiki Bar should not play the music they do(nor have MTV on, uggh), just as I would not expect a biker bar or country/western juke joint to be spinning surf music.

Taboo cove gets an "A" for Bosko's efforts, and a "C+" due to the above mentioned missteps.

midnite

Tiki Tommy,
You are more than justified about your feelings and sentiments regarding this establishment. I am not quite as cynical as the previous respondents to your message it seems. The Taboo Cove was billed as an AUTHENTIC Tiki bar. You were correct to expect it to be such.
I am 37 years old as well and I CANNOT stand Rap "music". I can handle punk rock, opera , anything but NOT that godawful noise.
When I want to hear Frank or Dino or Martin Denny that's what it has to be or I start throwing people around. Just kidding.
Anyway, the 60's will not come back. Drink a zombie and build a Tiki bar in your basement. If you do let me know and I'll come over with some ladies and help you enjoy it.

Cheers!

A

Hi tikitommy,
I think there is people who really want to go back in time and see how it existed.Bosko and Shag cooperated and made it cool,but what can you do about the other people?Everyone just settles for music that they think everyone else likes so they go along.I can just picture you taking your parents and expecting a retro time.Too bad it didn't go as planned.I think you should treat your parents to a time at your place with the music and environment you desire.Don't depend on others to make it for you.Not to say we shouldn't contribute and keep these establishments alive because there is a lot of talented people involved and not too many places like that around!

Tiki Tommy, this is a genuinely moving tale. It was like the collective Tiki Central was sitting by the couch that you were lying on, while you were gesticulating and sharing your traumatic experience:

"Yes, my son, that must have been very painful," Dr. Tiki Central would say, nodding sympathetically,"Yes, it is a crime, we know..."
TT:"...and the dissappointed faces of my parents will haunt me forever!"
Dr.TC, mildly reprimanding:"We understand your pain, son...Now: Why did you not come to us earlier, you could have saved yourself from this shock..?:
TT: "..???!"
Dr. TC: "You should have gone to SEARCH under subject VEGAS and TABOO COVE, and it would have left you a little better prepared for this encounter.."

But, kidding aside, this does point to one of the weak points of this lovely board: All the wisdom of just a few weeks ago and anything before that is (seemingly) "gone", nobody goes there, and we have to learn anew...
PLUS the rupture from YAHOO Tiki Central is an even more unbridgeable gap:

I remember a fascinating series of posts on Yahoo about the Taboo Cove AT EXACTLY THE POINT where the money people where firing the regular Lounge band and handing it over to a Techno promoter. I even passed some on to Bosko, who voiced his regret at being powerless. He simply was burnt out from the continous struggle and compromise it took to get the thing done at all!
The whole downslide began when the big opening bash was cancelled due to 9/11. It has been the Venetian's stepchild ever since, totally underpromoted and forgotten.

So, for Douglas to come along and say "..but Taboo Cove is billed as an AUTHENTIC Tiki Bar!" is a consumerist attitude (just like complainig about the food and service at the Royal Hawaiian) I have to warn about. Be grateful for what is out there, and tolerant of what is not.

Hear this then: The Book of Tiki is a totally idealized view of Tiki Heaven, manipulated by my choice of the 'best only' images and some romantic prose. For example: Not ALL Tiki Bars played Exotica, and the white trash that frequented some of them was perhaps the equivalent of those Venus teenies...

The Urban Archeologist regards the layers of social and economic change that obscure his object of research still as fascinating cultural context, even if what he sees hints at the decline of civilization.

This is NOT to say "give up", and not to discourage voicing your feelings to the management. Way to go, Tommy.

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki on 2002-07-06 19:24 ]

T

Tikitommy:
I found your report to be very accurate from what I experienced on visits I made there last Fall, that I reported on Tiki Central. I totally appreciate your honest opinions and I don't think there is anything wrong with having high hopes for a place, especially when it was originally promoted as being authentic with original drink recipes. Never trust an advertiser's words (sorry, tikifish!) is probably a good credo, but the involvement of Bosko and Tony Ramos made me hopeful, too.

I disagree with the members who think one should just try to ignore the faults of Taboo Cove just because the decor is so cool. I think one should be more critical of new places than of original tiki bars because it gives people good ideas on how to do it right.

I noticed you didn't mention the drinks. I thought they were awful.

TBC

Just For the Record ,What did You folks have to say about "Toucans Tiki Lounge"?!?Palm Springs.
I l00ked on search didnt C anything....
-=CC=-
p.s. You guys have to sneek into the girls potty & check out the painting!!!

So, for Douglas to come along and say "..but Taboo Cove is billed as an AUTHENTIC Tiki Bar!" is a consumerist attitude (just like complainig about the food and service at the Royal Hawaiian) I have to warn about. Be grateful for what is out there, and tolerant of what is not.

Buddy, the whole American system is about consumerism and "give them what they want"(not by my choice, mind you). Too much tolerance in the wrong circumstance can breed dilution and impurity. Bowing to the tastes of the masses just brings about more homogenization. size=-1>[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-04 08:24 ]

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 23:01 ]

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 23:06 ]

"Buddy"..? ..tisk tisk, the youngens, so impetuous.
I am sorry if I appeared to believe that my word is the "rule of law", t'is not so. I am merely observing, drawing conclusions and making recommendations based on 12 years of Tiki archeology. You fight homogenization your way, I fight it my way, to each his own.


**Poly-Pop ***

Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop 2013-02-04 20:18 ]

On 2002-07-05 10:31, tikitommy wrote:

but why create this "authentic" paradise only to fill it with noise???

Good question. We see this time and time again: San Fran Bay bars Lilo Lounge (R.I.P.) Bamboo Hut, Tiki Tom's, etc. Why would you go through the trouble to create a whole Tiki Bar (which is rare) and then go on to not fill it it with the right music?

Here are my thoughts:

On the Tiki Crawl we got a lot of people who absolutely love the decor, the whole concept, the drinks, etc, but are totally ignorant that it's a Scene (most of these people are Driftwood though; people who join the crawl while hearing about it while at one of the stops).

I guess, for a lot of these people, there is no connection between a Tiki bar and Tiki music. Most of them have never heard of Exotica. Perhaps they enjoy the Tiki bar becuase it reminds them of a trip to Hawaii or other tropical islands. Of course, you have about as much chance at hearing Exotica in a bar in Hawaii as you do in the states. So their memory is of sipping a Pena Colata at a Resort Bar, with decent hawaiian architecture and plants, but with a TV tuned to CNN and Madonna playing in the background.

In a way these people are more pure than us Tikiphiles here becuase they're not interested in experiencing a long-lost moment from 50 years ago, but rather to reexperience something they experienced themselves in the last, say, 10.

So there's a big disconnection there... perhaps to the layman a Tiki Bar isn't retro at all (just tropical) but Exotica is.

Okay, that was a little rambling. It's late. Er, early.

(a little off-topic but check out some of the music listed at the beginning of the Modern Tiki Music thread.

~Hanford

[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore on 2002-07-08 02:25 ]

W

Even if a topic was discussed back at Yahoo or just a few weeks ago everyone should feel free to express an opinion or ask a question. I hope no one holds back for fear they'll get a "Yeah, we talked about that last year" response, particularly new members. Using the "search" feature is not always the answer to a question, I've never encountered a search feature on a bulletin board that yields satisfying results. This isn't unique to bulletin boards, searching through old material in any format (magazines, cassettes, hieroglyphs) is a pain.

This thread meshes well with the recent discussion started by the75stingray as to whether a new Tiki bar/restaurant would have a chance as a business venture. The Las Vegas casino scene is not the best gauge of general consumer activity but there's probably some wisdom to be gleaned from the Taboo Cove experiment.

As for the music played in Taboo Cove... Suddenly reggae or Jimmy Buffet doesn't seem such a bad choice for a Tiki bar, does it? If I make it to Taboo Cove before it get's turned into the Cove Sports Bar & Grill I'll try to bring along a CD player and a big fat set of headphones.

T

Polynesianpop wrote:
"I would LOVE to have it running the way an authentic tiki bar should but hey, you can't blame them for wanting to turn their investment into a profit. It is a business after all."

The management of Taboo Cove started playing "popular" music and changing the drink recipes way back in October to appeal to the masses. Yet all recent reports have indicated that the place is practically empty most of the time, so I seriously doubt that the place is turning a profit due to management's changes. And to think that only folks on Tiki Central would appreciate a tiki bar done authentically is an elitist attitude. I think once people get clued in to it and taste a few well-made drinks that more people would appreciate it. In my opinion, the problems with Taboo Cove were:

  1. it was hard to find, and
  2. the management started changing it before it had a chance to work.

and Polynesian pop also wrote:
"Anyways, don't mean to sound rude but this topic is like beating on a dead horse. It's been hashed and re-hashed over and over again since the days back in Yahoo. Just like BigBro said, use the SEARCH feature and and you'll see this whole discussion/debate repeated numerous times. And, such a search would have given you an idea of others' experiences which would have given you an idea on what you could have expected."

Give the guy a break! Maybe he's a new member and didn't know about the old Yahoo group. We should welcome new members and their opinions and reports, not chastise them for not knowing every thread that was discussed in the past on this forum. The reason why this thread comes back all the time is that people like me care about seeing places like Taboo Cove succeed, while I could give a rat's ass about a place like Red Robin.

T

Dear thejab,

Thanks for being supportive. I was very unaware of the previous Yahoo group. I just wanted to report an experience, that's all. By the way, there will be a new tiki bar opening up here on the southside of town (Pittsburgh). Should have opened by now, or shortly. When I walked past it a month ago, they were putting up the giant tiki god entrance; you walk in through its mouth. I was told that this establishment will feature a waterfall and will try to create the correct ambiance (sp?)(no tv showing sports and authentic drinks out of tiki mugs). Time will tell, and I'll make my report sometime in the near future.

D

[ Edited by: DaneTiki 2009-08-30 19:33 ]

T
thejab posted on Mon, Jul 8, 2002 1:19 PM

tikitommy wrote:
"there will be a new tiki bar opening up here on the southside of town (Pittsburgh). Should have opened by now, or shortly. When I walked past it a month ago, they were putting up the giant tiki god entrance; you walk in through its mouth. I was told that this establishment will feature a waterfall and will try to create the correct ambiance (sp?)(no tv showing sports and authentic drinks out of tiki mugs)."

Wow, that sounds great! I look forward to hearing more about it.


**Poly-Pop ***

Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop 2013-02-04 20:18 ]

On 2002-07-08 06:48, woofmutt wrote:
I'll try to bring along a CD player and a big fat set of headphones.

Great idea, Woof! I say let's go in a BIG group with a BIG drink budget, then whip out a CD player and TWENTY pairs of headphones. Make all the teenies wonder what they're missing, and make the management wonder what THEY'RE missing too...

A
aquarj posted on Mon, Jul 8, 2002 9:10 PM

I remember the original conversations about Taboo Cove, and at first this time I was gonna write a post sorta defending them. Sometimes it seems we're all so thrifty when it comes to our own money, but not when it comes to the money of someone else who actually invests in a place like that. Like they're supposed to cater to a handful of tiki nuts who show up all the way from Timbuktu once in a while hoping for tiki nirvana, and who might be back to buy a couple drinks maybe once or twice a year. And the owners are supposed to perpetually maintain the place in pristine, authentic form (whatever authentic is) out of a pure love of the soul of the tiki experience. Yeah, I think that's a little unreasonable expectation, but on the other hand, there's nothing wrong with us rating the experience for each other. I sure don't know what's the best way for them to make money on the place - maybe they did a focus group and came up with that crappy music. But I doubt it. I bet it's just something that didn't really get much creative thought, unlike the decor, so my guess is that the Taboo Cove folks just plain blew it when it came to the music.

I think there are tons of people who only enjoy music when they hear songs they already know. But even those kinda people like a full-immersion "exotic" experience once in a while, and that's what Vegas is about. In Vegas, it doesn't make sense to try to create a bar that sounds the same as what people get at their local watering hole or meat market or sports bar or whatever back home. I bet the vast majority of visitors will just be around a night or a weekend, and then disappear. And I bet they could really enjoy a more apropos and well-crafted soundtrack for Taboo Cove if anyone had actually tried putting it together. There are tons of examples of other places that have tried to use fitting music, with customers getting into it as part of the charm. Hmm, well, there used to be anyway.

But being exotic and tiki-ish doesn't have to mean slow and languid background-only music. Personally, I like "lounges" better than bars/clubs, but my impression was that the Taboo Cove folks hoped for more of a jam-packed bar party atmosphere, so I can see them thinking that Marty and Arty might be a little slow, if they even considered exotica at all. But there are so many choices! Just a quick look and listen at Miles Thompson's website reveals how a little creativity can go a long way for putting visuals and music together, but in a modern way, with this genre. And there's so much cool new music being made too. Stuff like Tipsy and Pizzicato Five and all the Euro lounge-tronica, or even some of the surf-lounge-tiki party music like the Bomboras or Huntington Cads. It's pretty clear the music was just an afterthought, and then it only got worse when they revisited the issue and played Dr. Frankenstein by gluing MTV ears onto a tiki head.

Course the Venus Lounge is another story. That's actually laid out and named like a lounge, and it's just screaming out to be an ultra-hip spot. I bet many of us in this group could spend one afternoon and put together a GREAT soundtrack for that place combining space-age pop with modern sounds in the same vein.

The whole problem with Taboo and Venus was with the general economy in Vegas and other tourist spots after 9-11. It's just a shame the new owners didn't recognize that and tried to mess with a very good thing with incredibly unfortunate timing. Instead of waiting for recovery and following through with the original vision - they ruined a good thing and are now reaping the results with their empty bars.

I actually don't mind MTV and contemporary music - it's just that it is so jarring to have the visual and auditory ambience so in conflict. As a tourist, I go to the Motown Cafe at NY NY and expect to hear the Temptations and Jacko. I go to the Ventitian Canal shops and expect to hear Italian arias.

We are fairly regular visitors to Vegas and instead of this being a not-miss stop - it's just a pasadena. It is so badly managed - they drive hard-core customers like ourselves away. We were there last Thanksgiving weekend and discovered an AMAZING lounge performer, Vargas (Wayne Newton/Tom Jones/Sammy Davis Jr.) playing there on Tuesday night - But when we came back Wednesday night - when the bigger crowds were coming to town - they had decided to close early and not have Vargas back because the Tuesday had been so slow. huh??? Thursday night - they had a bad top 40 band -and we didn't even walk in. I am amazed that Taboo and Venus are actually still open and don't expect them to last much longer.

Does anybody have names and contact info for
these 'owners.' Maybe we could get more pro-active in alerting them (via petition or a presentation of tiki events or?) of the potential of their place? Maybe we could stage a Caliente-like event that is open to the public with authentic tiki theme and music to get them out of their stupor?

[ Edited by: Cherry Capri on 2002-07-10 03:39 ]

S

First, I think Hala Kahiki in Chicago is packed very regularly. they play ONLY the slow quiet Hawaiian music. So that blows out a whole lot of notions.

Second, it is absolutely appropriate to expect a certain music with a certain decor. We do it all the time, from beer bars to jazz clubs. There is an awesomely decorated club in Atlanta called the Leopard Lounge. They play awful music and we don't go there. The decor is not enough to overcome the music.

Third, I mix a lot of different Exotica together and it's not stuff to sleep by. It doesn't have to be. Hawaiian music tends to be very slow. But Tahitian music is usually fast. There is faster, more uptempo AND authentic music to be played. And there is also semi-authentic music. That is, if we are talking about Poly-Pop, that means it can be any performer of the 40s-60s doing tunes from the islands or inspired by that. I put mambo in there. I put lots of stuff in there. Perez Prado. 'nuf said.

Third, summation. It can be done right and work and be profitable. Hala Kahiki doesn't even serve beer. Do they serve meals? I can't recall, but I don't think they have the restaurant to fall back on. Some "tiki" establishments get by as a "fancy" or "romantic" restaurant and bar. Taboo Cove could go with their decor and theme and up the tempo of the music and still make people like us happy to be there, excited to go and packed with "normal/regular" people.

Come to Atlanta July 20th to hear the sort of mix I would suggest. From Esquivel's Mucho Muchacha to Alfred Apaka's Maupuana. And, for that matter, if Monday is traditionally slow, make it Vintage Exotica night. Or make Happy Hour laid back exotica. There are options. Throw us a bone.

T

Somebody (from tiki central?) should throw a big party at Taboo Cove/Venus and charge admission and do it right. Get some good bands and DJs, hire some real bartenders, and so on. Perhaps Otto can do something like that and make it work as he has with other events.

On 2002-07-07 20:58, PolynesianPop wrote:
SlovakTiki, you say:

"Buddy, the whole American system is about consumerism and "give them what they want" (not by my choice, mind you)."

And then you say:

"Bowing to the tastes of the masses just brings about more homogenization."

Hmmmm...Sounds like you just contradicted yourself with those two statements.
P.P.,
I am going to state that I don't believe my statements were contradictory. The American ideal is about consumerism. That does not mean that I agree with that particular idea, go along or even approve of it.

  Slovak Tiki  

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-08-31 05:10 ]

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 23:04 ]

On 2002-07-07 20:58, PolynesianPop wrote:

What it comes down to is this: The days of the "authentic" tiki bar are over. Even if someone were to recreate it accurately, it would still NOT be authentic but a replicated environment of what WAS authentic. And as such, we can and should appreciate what is out there now because its all we've got. Ever heard the saying "Beggars can't be choosers"?

P.P.,
The days of the authentic, unpillaged tiki bar are not over. The Hala Kahiki in Chicago is a successful, authentic, completely unpillaged Tiki bar that has been in existence since 1966. I was there on a Saturday evening and the place was packed. The bartenders were very polite and friendly(all decked out in Hawaiian shirts). I had 2 Scorpions, a Mai Tai(on recommendation from the bartender),a Blue Hawaii,and a Zombie. All were quite potent in my opinion and the Scorpions came served in decorated Tiki bowls. There were huge Tiki gods out on the terrace as well as smaller ones scattered about the bar. masks on the walls,bamboo and grass everywhere. Blowfish lamps, waitresses in Hawaiian dress,and Hawaiian music piped in. Out on the terrace there is a fountain/brook. Check it out people before you get too cynical and give up! Slovak

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-08-31 05:15 ]

On 2002-07-08 12:01, thejab wrote:
Polynesianpop wrote:
"I would LOVE to have it running the way an authentic tiki bar should but hey, you can't blame them for wanting to turn their investment into a profit. It is a business after all."

The management of Taboo Cove started playing "popular" music and changing the drink recipes way back in October to appeal to the masses. Yet all recent reports have indicated that the place is practically empty most of the time, so I seriously doubt that the place is turning a profit due to management's changes. And to think that only folks on Tiki Central would appreciate a tiki bar done authentically is an elitist attitude. I think once people get clued in to it and taste a few well-made drinks that more people would appreciate it.
Very well put, Jab. I am fairly new to this Tiki culture as well (it started for me after a trip to Hawaii). Interest breeds demand. If older Tikiphiles are too cynical and people become discouraged the interest which breeds demand may diminish. The more demand for Tiki Style that develops the more there will be for all of us to enjoy. Slovak

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 23:11 ]

I think it's reasonable to decide you don't like any place when the music doesn't fit the room, whether it's a mexican restaurant, a dentist office, or a tiki bar. It's jarring. I don't think we're being elitist here.

I do believe that if they were having trouble bringing people in the door, the music isn't the problem. All my friends are Ordinarys, and every time I throw a party, someone raves about the music, and asks where to get it. I can't imagine it's turning people out the door. That's just crazy thinking right there.

Why can't these places at least try to appeal to everybody...maybe have Exotica nights...'Hawaiian Nights,,,techno nights...hell, even Japanese Karaoke nights? Grey


*** * * The Polynesian Popster * * ***

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop on 2002-09-03 16:00 ]

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop 2013-02-04 20:29 ]

Well, I see your point my Polynesian friend.I appreciate the way you clarified that. Slovak

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 22:58 ]


**Poly-Pop ***

Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop 2013-02-04 20:29 ]

[ Edited by: SlovakTiki on 2002-09-06 23:15 ]

I was in Vegas last October to see the Desert Inn implosion, and had heard about a tiki lounge at the Venetian. The last tiki lounge I had heard of was at the Stardust, I think it was called Aku Aku and closed maybe in 1980?? When I was there they had a great band playing swing music, and a lot of Sinatra and Dean Martin. I thought I was in heaven. The drinks were pricey, but I really didn't care. I spent several hours there enjoying the music and being transported back into a time that I can only dream about. I was sorry to find out that that the format had changed when I was there this past April. Too bad...

Has anybody expressed the idea that maybe the owners/managers could be convinced to allow TikiCentral to set up an annual one day event at Taboo cove? Heck, it could be during hours they are normally closed, so the change in format wouldn't shock the people who can't get beyond the thoom thoom thoom thoom budda thoom thoom thoom of dance music.
I think a grand tiki event perhaps poised 6 months opposite of Tiki Oasis would be a idea, what motnh would that be?
Heck, even if it went the way of Las Vegas Grind, and only lasted a coupla years, we could attach some fond memories to an effort so deserving of them.
So whens Tiki-Con 2003? Hey wait a minute, we could do it the same week that the adult movie industry is in town... Nah, maybe not.
TG
http://www.exotic-tiki-gardens.com

I would like to post my comments about Taboo Cove/Venus Lounge. I stumbled upon this place back in November of 2001. I forced my friends to go there with me one night. Back then they did play Exotica in the Cove and they had a lounge band playing in the Lounge. They served every drink to us in a Tiki mug, though their mug selection was limited to what TikiTommy listed. One thing they did do for us was make us a Scorpion in a large Moai looking bowl and they did light it on fire. They had a Polynesian Dance show that performed 2 or 3 times a night. I think I might have pictures of this, so if i can find them, I'll post em.

I ended up talking with the manager, Manny, about the place and he let me walk around and take a bunch of pictures. We were there for my friends 21st birthday, so the manager kept giving us free drinks. When we were leaving, Manny gave me a bunch of napkins, swizzle sticks, their Shag Promo flyer and actually gave me one of their Menu’s w/ Shag art throughout the entire thing. Manny and the rest of the bar staff, Chris and Brian, treated us well all night long. The door guys Lee and Pauly also were very nice to us. We explained to the manager that we wanted to come back for New Years and they set us up nice for their New Years party.

Since then, I always make it a point to stop by the Lounge and yes I have seen the downward spiral the bar has taken in regards to going from Tiki to Top 40’s. The bar staff there still to this day treat me well and knows me by name. Now there is a long line to get in there (which they don’t make we wait in) and I have actually seen some famous Rappers there a few nights (This shows you the demographic that they are trying to reach). Over all, I would not suggest this place for the Tikiphiles who want to experience a traditional Tiki Bar, but if you wanna pay a $20 cover and party till 6 am, then this is the place to go. I will continue to go there because of the great hospitality that I get treated with.

I heard last December that Taboo Cove/Venus Lounge was getting a make-over and all the cool retro/Shag artwork and furniture in the Venus Lounge was being taken out.

Does anyone know if this has actually happened?

no - they just added a cheezy lightup dance floor in the middle of the room and sectioned off the back area with a VIP section.
the club was rather quiet when i visited there on a thursday night a month ago - i think they have peaked and are going down in the lv club circuit...

When I took some exterior photos out side Taboo/Venus last weekend during the day, I noticed that every night (except for one R&B night) they play hip hop and house music in the Venus- Just like THE RAT PACK used to!!!

I was in Vegas over the weekend and I stopped in at the Venus Lounge/Taboo Cove. I always make it a point to go there because over the years I have made friends with the managers, doormen, and bartenders who treat me very well (even though the tiki-ness of the bar is gone). I went on Friday night and they only had the Venus side open. I asked them why they had the Tiki bar closed. The manager said that business has been pretty slow over the past few months and they only open up the Tiki side if enough people show up (which it did on Saturday night). One of the employees there did tell me that they are planning on shutting down Taboo Cove and redoing it entirely, not in Tiki. He was not sure when this was going to happen but he siad its in the near future. I asked him what they are going to do with all of the decor and he said "Get on the waiting list". He said that employees & friends are probably gonna be able to pick through everything first.

M

On 2004-08-02 09:50, TikiTrevor wrote:
I was in Vegas over the weekend and I stopped in at the Venus Lounge/Taboo Cove. I went on Friday night and they only had the Venus side open. I asked them why they had the Tiki bar closed. The manager said that business has been pretty slow over the past few months and they only open up the Tiki side if enough people show up (which it did on Saturday night). One of the employees there did tell me that they are planning on shutting down Taboo Cove and redoing it entirely, not in Tiki.I asked him what they are going to do with all of the decor and he said "Get on the waiting list".

This is not too surprising because the bar had been poorly promoted and is in a bad place (hidden from normal view). The location is not one that the average person would walk by when going through that casino.

This whole sad affair reminds me of the restaurant in the Venitian that advertised that it was a perfect reproduction of "Rick's Cafe Americain" from Casablanca.

I really looked forward to that... imagining a piano player, the bar, the whole scene...even gambling (shocked, SHOCKED!).

NO SUCH LUCK!

Two painted flats, with a couple of tables... not even an immersive room, you could see the other rooms! And this was in a restaurant with a Batman set in it too.... CRAP!

Vegas doesn't get what Disney seems to get. Immersive spaces require attention to detail, and elimination of EVERY detail that would distract or detract.

T

The Mrs. & I were ther last Wednesday for a drink. If we had not been there, the bar would have been empty. A bar in a large casino, on the strip should have more than 2 locals drinking.
The bartender that night told me they were closing the week after Labor Day. Everything was going on both sides and he said the same thing about the employees taking all the good stuff.
If you have never been there, it is a cool place to see. If you do make it before it closes, drop me an email or a PM and I'll meet you for a drink.

H

I agree with Woofmutt, I visit this bar everytime I go to Las Vegas. It has changed considerably, since they opened. I was there at the beginning, I even have one of thier menues for the bar. But it is always nice to go there just to see the place, even if the music sucks. There are no other Tiki places in Los Vegas and I am happy to have this one I can go to.

I alway stop into Taboo Cove early, before anyone's really there, and suck down a rum drink, savoring the decor, when I'm in Vegas.

But, yeah...only on my first visit was I happy with the total experience.

They could make a killing if they had one night a week that catered to the tiki crowd. Ditto the lounge (a couple of publicized "Rat Pack" nights a month would kill). But I suppose that takes marketing savvy and the willingness to take some risks...

-BCM

http://www.hawaiiandick.com

T

I couldn't agree more with Hawaiian dick about a real lounge night once a week. That would be great and I'm sure it would do well! Many People would appreciate that kind of authentic nostalgia, especially in Vegas...It's a sin to have such a great venue and then destroy it by pumping rap music into it. Sorry if I offend anyone here (I highly doubt it) but I just absolutely despise that no talent garbage! My lovely neighbor blares it into my back yard almost daily...I can't even enjoy my little backyard slice of paradise. My relaxing Harry owens/Dino records can't compete with the DEGENERATE noise of Tupac and Fifty cent....sorry to get off the subject here, I just had to vent. I need a stiff drink and a one way ticket to 1956!
T

I was also there from the very beginning and right after they opened, they used to have lounge bands play in the Lounge. In Taboo Cove, they had a Polynesian-esque dance and fire show 2x's a night. I have pics of everything. I need to dig them up and post em so everyone can enjoy.

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